Malia - Cheesy Nightlife, but quainter side too
"Overview of Malia"
There are many aspects to Malia. You have the loud British-youth-orientated 'Beach Road' which runs from the Beach (funnily enough!) to the National Highway, which is packed with English (and Irish) pubs and bars and restaurants offering 2-4-1 drinks every night and the 'Full English Breakfast' for 3 Euros or so every day. Then there's the Old Town, south of the National Highway, made up of narrow streets and pretty tavernas, and then there's the beach which is sandy in most places, with small family-orientated hotels, which never seem to be over 3 storeys high, so haven't turned the busy resort into an eye-sore.
"The cultural side of Malia"
While you're there it would be a shame to miss the ancient Minoan Palace of Malia, situated only 3 km east of the town centre. Not as big as Knossus (which I must admit I didn't go to), but well laid out with small museum, bar/restaurant, bookshop and toilet facilities, and only costs 4 Euros.